Two things I love: (1) using up fabric scraps and (2) organization buckets/baskets/drawers (likely to house more sewing products or... candy/snacks for the craft room). These woven storage cubes made from fabric and ultra-firm stabilizer are super customizable for any need; I have sewing patterns in one, my cutting tools in another, and I added straps to the big size cube which perfectly fits my old Singer. To change the size of the basket, you can vary the width or number of the strips. Also, this weave is great for themed totes as well, like Easter or Halloween baskets!
Step 1: Materials
- Fabric, at least 2 colors
- Peltex 72, Double-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer
- Foam Core Board with Ghost Gridlines and a cross hair drawn on the center lines (purchased from Dollar General)
- Rotary Cutter and Ruler
- Sewing Machine & Iron
Step 2: Making the Base Strips
To make things simple, I only used two colors in my basket, but I definitely encourage you to use all your scrap fabrics! The red fabric will be used to make all the base strips and the flowered fabric will be used to make the wall circular loop strips.
I started by taking seven (7) 2.5" strips of 42" fabric and cutting them in half; so I ended up with 14 strips. I also cut the stabilizer into fourteen (14) 1"x20" strips. I folded one long edge of the fabric strip in 1/4" and pressed with the iron. Then I took a strip of stabilizer and laid it flush with the long edge of the other side of the strip. Since the stabilizer is double sided, I DO NOT iron it down yet; that would be a sticky burnt iron! I just fold the stabilizer over on itself as pictured and THEN press. Then I flip the 1/4" side over the stabilizer, clip to secure it in place, and top stitch the strip down both sides.
Step 3: Base Weave
This is where the foam core board comes in handy! I can keep my strips straight by making sure they line up with the ghost lines. The first thing I do is place a strip on top (or below) the crosshair line and pin into the board on both sides. **A tip for securing the strip is to first place the pin straight down into the board and then dropping it to a 45 degree angle and pushing into the board.**
After the first strip is placed, I repeat with 5 more strips (6 total), adding to the top and bottom each time. Then I place the next strip vertical, lining up one edge of the strip to the center line. I repeat the same process of adding strips to each side for 8 total strips, weaving each vertical strip over and under the horizontal strips. My box ended up being rectangle, but you can also do perfect squares (i.e. 8x8) or even more rectangle like the tote (i.e. 4x10), instead.
The last step I do is measure each side to make sure each side is the same as its opposite. The short sides are both 6" and the long sides are 8". If one side was 6" and the other was 6.25", I would need to scrunch down the bigger side with my fingers until even.
Step 4: Making the Circular Wall Strips
Here comes the magic. How does this flat weave turn into a 3D box? Circular strips.
I know from measuring earlier that my sides are 6" + 6" + 8" + 8"; that makes the perimeter of the base equal to 28". Therefore, my strips need to equal 28". If you're a regular sewer, you might say, what about the seam allowances?! I say, don't worry about it. The 1/4" difference will just help pull the box in a bit and make sure it's snug.
So I make the flowered strips the same as before, but they have different measurements. The length is obviously 28", and the fabric strips are still 2.5", but the stabilizer is cut into 1"x28" strips. After topstitching, I zig zag stitch the two ends together with a wide but short stitch.
I used 6 loops total for the walls.
Step 5: Side Weave
This is where the clips become really handy. I start by weaving the walls of the basket, one side at a time, and with the base strips alternating between inside the circular strip and outside the circular strip. After I place a strip in its spot, I clip it; otherwise it WILL move and the loop becomes messy. I definitely had to readjust the loops in the video after I made a mistake. Hopefully, at 8x speed you don't notice too much. I continue on with the rest of the wall circular strips (6 total), adjusting and tightening constantly.
Step 6: Trim Excess Basket Tails
Once I have tightened the box until everything looks even, I snip off the excess strip tails with a tiny ruler and a rotary cutter. If I'm feeling lucky, I will just "eye it" and cut the tops off with scissors. The rim will be covered with a bind anyways, so it doesn't have to be perfect.
Step 7: Bind the Basket Top
To make the bind for the top rim of the basket, I first cut a 28" x 2.5" strip of red fabric; cut the bind to whatever your circular strips lengths were. Also, there isn't a need for stabilizer here. I ironed the strip in half longways, opened it up, and folded the raw edges in towards the center. Then I repressed. Instead of zig zag stitching the ends together, I opened up the folded strip and sewed the short ends, right sides together 1/4", and refolded back into the loop. No raw edges are showing! I set the bind on the top of the cube, clipped into placed, and top stitched around the rim!
Step 8: Extra: Tote
For the tote bag, I wanted it heavy duty to carry my sewing machine. I used two metal grommets on each side with a stabilized strap, and I put dowel rods in the center crease of the bind on the long edges to make the bag extra rigid.
Runner Up in the